Make Your Own Yogurt Incubator

For a fraction of the cost of supermarket brands, you can grow your own yogurt culture at home with this improvised yogurt incubator.


 Photo by Kim Zarney

There is an alternative to the sugared, chemicalized, flavor-enhanced yogurt found in the supermarket. You can grow your own yogurt culture at home — at a fraction of the cost — in a simple, never-fail yogurt  incubator made from two metal cans, an electric cord, a 75-watt bulb, and a thermometer!

First find two good-sized cans of approximately the same diameter (three-pound coffee cans work well). Also get an electric cord with a light socket on one end and a plug on the other.

Now, in the bottom of one of the cans (the smaller one, if they aren't the same size), punch a hole just large enough to allow you to thread in the plug of the cord. Pull the plug all the way through the hole and leave the socket inside the can. Screw a regular 75-watt bulb (I don't think the Soft-White type will work as well) into the socket. Put the other can, bottom down, on top of the first and you're ready to go. Now for the yogurt.

Find a large clean glass jar that will fit comfortably, with space around its sides, into the top can. Fill the jar with warm milk (not too hot — about 100°-120° Fahrenheit). If you're using reconstituted (non-instant) powdered milk, add a large can of evaporated milk to the full jar. Now mix in 2 to 4 heaping tablespoons of the tastiest yogurt you can find (natural flavor is best, but the fruits work too). The more you use the faster the batch will congeal.



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